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If you’ve been searching for home fitness equipment because you’re staying home, you likely have come across different fitness programs and items. One that gets a lot of praise online is Crossrope, and it’s even been touted as a perfect workout for traveling. But does it live up to the hype? In this Crossrope review, we hope to answer that question.
Stay-at-home fitness presents the same challenges as travel
It occurred to me the other day that working out during the pandemic presents a lot of the same challenges that I face when I travel. You’re often presented with limited or no equipment, and you may not have the ability or confidence to run on the streets in certain places due to safety.
Running presents some risks
While I’m not worried about my security when running outside now, I am more self-conscious since it does get crowded and can be difficult to maintain enough physical distancing.
There are a lot of articles that now recommend a distance of at least 15 feet when running or breathing heavily since you’re more likely to discharge more droplets, which could be an issue if you’re an asymptomatic carrier.
I know people are still doing it, and some are even making it work with a mask. However, I’m not an avid runner in the first place, so I’m less motivated to run around my neighborhood.
Hotel gyms are often lacking
While traveling, it can be hard to predict the state or availability of equipment. I’ve been to hotels where the gyms were under construction or crowded, so I couldn’t use the equipment. In fact, when I used to travel for work almost weekly, I would pick hotels based on their gym facility since I wanted to stay active.
Crossrope jump ropes
What I learned through my experience is that it’s always good to have a back-up plan if you want to stay active. You don’t want to rely on any of the hotel equipment, especially when you’re not sure what you’re going to encounter.
So in this post/video, I thought I’d share a piece of equipment that I’ve started to use recently and will likely keep using once the pandemic situation settles down. It’s also something that I can see myself packing on my next trip, which might be useful for those of you looking for something new or different. It’s called Crossrope.
Overengineered jump ropes
Crossrope is a set of interchangeable jump ropes of different weights that are meant to give you a more well-rounded workout. I came across it one evening when looking for home fitness gear.
Though I was skeptical too. I did a fair amount of jump roping when I used to do CrossFit, so I was used to using cheap speed ropes that only cost $10. But the thought of a better jump rope with different weighted ropes piqued my interest. After doing more research, I decided to take the plunge.
This Crossrope review is not a sponsored post
I should clarify that I’m not sponsored by Crossrope. I purchased my own equipment, and since I’ve been using them regularly, I wanted to share my honest opinion on the equipment, especially from the perspective of a traveler.
In this review, I’m going to focus on four aspects of the Crossrope system. I’ll be exploring the equipment, the app, the overall experience, and the community.
Various rope and handle combinations
Let’s start with the jump rope itself. Crossrope offers several ropes and handles, which can be purchased individually or as a kit. The Get Lean kit includes their slim handles, a quarter-pound rope, and a half-pound rope. The Get Strong kit includes the power handles and a one-pound and two-pound rope. There’s also the Get Fit bundle that includes both sets.
I purchased the Get Strong kit. I also bought a half-pound rope, and eventually, I even bought a quarter-pound rope.
In retrospect, I probably should have purchased the Get Fit bundle, though the reason I opted for the power handles is because of the versatility. You can use the lighter ropes on the power handles, but you can’t use the heavier ropes on the slim handles. So, I went with the power handles in hopes that I could use them on more ropes.
When looking at the handles, you’ll notice that they are high-quality. The grips are a synthetic material with a plastic end cap. The top of the handle has a steel bearing that allows a smooth rotation of the rope when jumping. You can see how smoothly the handles spin when rotated without the rope.
There’s also a steel connector that attaches to the rope. The connector has to be pressed on both sides to release the rope.
The ropes are also much better than I expected. They are single strand steel that have a thick and durable plastic-like coating. As I’ve been jumping, you can see that most of the scuff marks on the rope seem to be from the mat, not from the rope itself.
I also noticed that the ropes do not tangle like other jump ropes that I’ve used. I don’t know if it’s because of the size of the ropes, but even the thin quarter-pound rope doesn’t get tangled like other cheap ropes that I’ve used in the past.
The handles also come with a lifetime warranty, so you can expect them to perform over the long-term.
You could say that these jump ropes are overengineered, but that’s not a bad thing. If you’re serious about fitness or have been frustrated with jump roping in the past, you’ll appreciate the level of thought that’s gone into making these ropes.
The next part of Crossrope is the app. You don’t need the app to jump rope. However, their free app does have a variety of workouts to choose from. Ten of their most recent daily workouts are available, and there are five different challenges that you can join. The workouts feature different levels of fitness and movements.
For example, some workouts are labeled as strength and will typically use the heavier ropes. There are high-intensity interval training (HIIT) workouts that feature segments where you’ll do bodyweight movements. There are also endurance workouts that are focused more on jumping for longer intervals.
What I love about the app is that it guides you through the entire workout. For example, the app shows you the ropes and movements involved and then walks you through each section with audio queues.
The app also integrates with Google Fit and Apple Health. This could be useful if you’re someone who is tracking your activity in those ecosystems.
There is also a premium option that unlocks additional workouts, allows more filtering, and adds a jump counter. I personally haven’t felt like I needed to upgrade yet, but I think I probably will once the jump counter is integrated into the workouts. As of this article, the jump counter is still a standalone feature.
Is it the Peloton of jump ropes?
I’ve read people refer to the Crossrope app experience as the “poor man’s Peloton.” While it’s certainly less expensive than Peloton, I wouldn’t say it’s less effective.
In fact, I personally don’t feel the need to have real-time classes or workouts. And I prefer jumping over cycling, but of course, everyone is going to have a different preference.
In terms of the experience, I’ve been pleasantly surprised by it. Jump roping used to be a boring cardio activity that I would add to my HIIT workouts. Having the ability to swap out different weighted ropes makes it interesting.
Plus, Crossrope encourages you to learn new tricks or jumping styles. I find that when I am focusing on mastering a new jump roping skill, the workouts fly by.
And since jump roping is considered a more efficient workout than running, it’s been a great alternative for me. I’m able to do it on our front porch without having to worry about maintaining a physical distance from others on the street.
Power of weighted ropes
Ironically, I’ve also found that weighted ropes are a lot easier to control than the thin speed ropes that I’ve used most of my life. You can really feel the ropes when working out, which gives you additional awareness of the rope’s rotation. This allows you to learn different jumping styles and tricks faster.
Versatility of the app
Using the app has been fantastic too. I usually design my own HIIT workouts, so being able to mix jump roping into my routine has been fun. But it’s been convenient using the app since I don’t have to design my own workout. The workouts that I’ve completed have been exactly what I needed.
For example, the other day, I was looking to push myself, so I did an advanced endurance workout. On the flip side, there was a day last week when I didn’t sleep well, so I wanted to do a less intense workout. I opted for a shorter beginner workout, which was exactly what I needed.
The app is free and doesn’t require Crossropes to use it. It’s worth downloading and checking out, even if you don’t have their ropes, though it definitely helps to have them as the workouts are optimized and structured with their equipment in mind.
The last aspect of Crossrope is the community. This is actually one of the reasons that I ended up getting it. Crossrope has an active Facebook group where people share workouts, results, and advice. I found their community to be supportive, helpful, and a wealth of knowledge on all things related to Crossropes and jump roping. I’ve been inspired by others in the group.
Could Crossrope be the ultimate travel workout?
In terms of travel, I haven’t had a chance to take it with me on a trip. That’s because of the pandemic. Though I’m convinced that when we do travel again, I’m going to pack my Crossrope set with me.
Not only am I enjoying it, but I also find it to be an efficient workout. For me, it beats using a bike or treadmill. And if I can get the same results in less time, that means I’ll be able to spend more time enjoying my travels while maintaining my fitness.
Cost may be a barrier for some
The only negative aspect of Crossrope is the cost of the ropes, especially if you’re used to jump ropes being inexpensive and simple devices. Though I have to say that you are paying for a quality product, and really a fitness system. And while paying $100 to $140 for a jump rope set may seem steep, I feel like I get a lot of value from them. Not just in terms of meeting my fitness goals, but also in the long-term savings of me working out from home and not at a gym.
Additional tips and considerations
As you can tell, I highly recommend Crossrope, not only for traveling but also as a general fitness system.
Though if you do decide to get it or even start jump roping with your own rope, here are a few tips to keep in mind.
1. Give your body time to adjust:
When I got the ropes, I got a bit excited and ended up doing multiple consecutive days of jump roping. After about five workouts, I noticed that my shins were starting to hurt.
If you have type-A tendencies like me, then you’ll want to make sure that you’re also stretching and giving your body enough time to adapt to the exercise. Just like with everything, your body needs time to adjust to the new exercises and routine.
2. Jump on a thick mat:
Jumping on a mat not only protects your joints from additional wear and tear but also prolongs the life of your ropes. Crossrope sells several mats that you can order. You can also find additional fitness mats online. It’s definitely worth getting one to protect your investment…not only your ropes but also your body.
3. Try different shoes:
When I started jump roping, I was trying to figure out the best shoe for the activity. The truth is that there isn’t a perfect shoe out there.
In the community, you’ll see that people are using everything from running shoes to high-top basketball shoes. There are even shoes designed for jump roping.
I’ve found that my cross-training shoes work best for me, though you might find that you prefer a shoe with more or less cushioning and support.
4. Start with the lower weight ropes:
I did the opposite and started with the heavier ropes. Swinging the one-pound and two-pound rope is a tough workout, and it’s doesn’t lend itself to creative jump roping.
If you’re just starting out or trying to learn new tricks, you’ll find the lower pound ropes to be more effective. In fact, I think the half-pound rope is my most used rope.
5. Explore free jump rope content:
There are some incredible jump rope channels on YouTube that are worth checking out.
For example, Jump Rope Dudes is a great resource for those of you looking to get started. They even have free workouts that you can check out. I’ve been watching a lot of their content as I’ve gotten more interested in jump roping as an activity.
Crossrope also has a lot of videos showing different tricks and techniques, and they are worth watching to gain more knowledge on jump roping.
Have any of you tried Crossrope or jump roping as a travel or daily fitness activity? I’m curious about what you all are doing to stay active.